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tv   Close Up  CSPAN  March 30, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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primitive uglier times in american lives. ..
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if we use the power of our vote, and anyone who will not go on the era amendment have to mount an education effort to tell their voters they don't think women should be treated equally. believe me you get so many so fast if we use our economic power do not buy products from companies that support outlandish slander against women and if we use our vote to reward those who say they want to help us but who will help us in reality by cosponsoring in the voting for an amendment that nearly fails it should be given the same equal opportunity as men. it is time to pass it and will not pass at until we make it a priority. but if we score the set in this
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coming election, believe me, we would pass it. it's up to us to have the political will to do it and it's a thrill to be here for so many new faces and so many strong people that are one of the leaders i see you all for this room to help women and children and men around the world i honor and appreciate the kind of celebration which is a celebration of all of our work is up to the women and it is up to you. thank you. [applause] i have a congressional resolution. come out here for the evolution. [applause]
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>> i could stay all day -- >> even though you are running out on me. congratulations. thank you. [applause] >> we are joined on the board of directors >> of the trailblazer a word gets out presented by the majority carolyn maloney in recognition of her tireless leadership with the equal rights amendment for women's rights worldwide. thank you. thank you. [applause] if i would like to ask you to
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join me on stage. you're in for a treat if you have not met arleen baker he was about to hear from one of the most powerful voices in organized labor for women's rights. so as they join me on the stage, i want to just ask everyone as you leave here today if you will fill out that card that was on your napkin as you took your seats. you heard about the war on women. we need a check to fight that, and this is the year we must win mobilize women as never before. i hope you will take just a few minutes to fill that car out we've had one of the donors that hasn't joined us today make a pledge to match dollar for dollar up to $25,000 to raise that here today in honor of our 25th anniversary i hope he will help me, grip the end of the
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line to provide by way of resources. now i would like to ask laura to join me on stage and our volunteers will be taking this issue later today. >> i'm a national campus organizer for the feminist majority leadership program. as someone who is passionate about workers' rights and economic justice, i am so proud that we are saluting arlene a. turkoman executive vice president of the afl-cio. not only has she been a leader for workers' rights but she's been on the front line for immigrant rights, lt bet rights, health care, fair trade, voter education and paid equity. we the feminist majority foundation believes feminists must stand up for workers' rights and we must promote the understanding that the fight for workers is a fight for women. thank you. [applause]
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thank you. i would like to introduce someone who is making a difference for women at the department of labor. shiastan and the interest of women and disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups as an attorney and a public servant. she's promoted our economic advancement by advocating for increased access to education and employment opportunities. under president bill clinton, she was named the 14th director of the women's bureau, the only federal agency mandated by congress to represent america's wage earning women in the process. she served as director of the women's rights department of the american federation in the state county and municipal employees and as the community outreach director for working america a community of the liggett of the afl-cio. in 2008, she was named president of the legal momentum for the
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legal advocate organization to advance the human rights of women and girls. she is now the senior counselor to none other than the secretary of labor hilda solis. [applause] >> good afternoon, everybody. it is an honor and pleasure to be here with all of you today to introduce the next al-marri. but before i begin the introduction of it like to let you know that the secretary of labor, hilda solis, sends greetings and regret for not being able to join in the celebration. the rest of the feminist majority, secretary hilda solis sends best wishes for a fantastic and successful event and she sends her thanks for all you do every day on behalf of women. [applause]
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as for of the third highest ranking member of the afl-cio and the first african-american woman to be elected to this position, arlene holtz baker is a trail blazer and a leader in every respect. of the leader actually went up for what it means and what it says but wanted to find the description for a. of a person that leaves and guides, a person that educates, a person that inspires. that is arlene to read that is who she is. a few weeks ago i travelled to alabama with secretary of labor arlene to participate in one of the days they were commemorating their re-enactment of a famous civil rights march from selma to
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montgomery. so walking to my hotel room as i always do and the first thing i do is because i am a political junkie, i turned on the news, and the first person i see passionately speaking at a civil rights rally was arlene. she's on tv. this is all some. so the next day, arlene along with other leaders including my boss, whom everybody here knows is the fiercest defenders of all that is just, am i connect? [laughter] [applause] and arlene leading the march alongside thousands of people from all walks of life. it is an awesome sight with
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thousands of people behind them. so, arlene was an inspiration. let me tell you something, she went from marches to rallies to meetings to a guest television speaker speaking about the importance of the march. why did she do this? because it's important and necessary to remind us all the struggles, the suffering, the violence that was endured by other civil-rights leaders from equal right and the right to vote should never be taken for granted. she wanted to remind the country that to those rights are being threatened.
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arlene wanted to make sure the country understood that our immigrant, brothers and sisters have been added to the list of those to be excluded. she could of delivered a speech and come back to d.c. and watched every now and if history and everything there was going on from the comfort of her office or home, but she was there from day after day and did what great leaders do it. she was president, she taught and guided and inspired. her passion was instilled in her by her mother georgia luis, a domestic worker in dallas and mother of six children who sacrificed to pay her taxes and naacp dues. it's no wonder she joined the
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movement as a very young one because she thought of it as an organization that believes in social and economic justice. she moved rapidly through the ranks holding numerous leadership positions. she's all the fruits of her labor early on in california. when the women that were currently not organized and were able to secure the collective bargaining agreement because of arlene's work and she saw all of these women that weren't adequate positions to allow them to buy homes and automobiles and send their kids to college and have respect and dignity and value in the workplace and in addition to her work leading political initiatives to the afl-cio, arlene also held a number of political land mines in putting an appointment to california task force committee
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and she's also selected as the liggett to a member of the national democratic convention and 1995 she served as california as vice chair of the democratic party. so i don't have to tell anyone who knows arlene but she is an ardent supporter of women's rights and this day she continues her mission advocating on behalf of working women, working families and people of color. her voice and commitment and dedication to fight for economic political and social justice. please give a round of applause to a woman that is a leader, my sister, arlene holt baker. [applause]
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>> this award is presented on behalf of the feminist majority to arlene holt baker afl-cio executive vice president in recognition of her leadership, her workers' rights and pay equity for the women worldwide. [applause] >> thank you so much. [applause] today it is such an honor to be among my sisters and on the 25th anniversary of the majority. i tell you why come with a heavy heart today many of my sisters from the labor movement before we came here we learned that one of our sisters, a pioneer, one whose shoulders many of us stand on passed away today.
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88-year-old addie was a pioneer for the women's rights and workers' rights and so really i stand here today to say that my journey has been made possible for women like addie. i also want to thank the feminist majority cough for standing and being there and never being afraid to fight on behalf of women's rights. i will tell you a personal story. about 25 years ago, now 35-year-old daughter, an athlete who plays every sport, but she decided she was going to play touch football in the eighth grade and i received a call from the principle because they wanted me to come to the school
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immediately to discuss. welcome angela haven't discussed it with me. [laughter] but as her decision because she was a bold and knew she could do it. but the question the principle wanted to ask me was along with the mail coach because you see touch football is with men and all the young boys was are you going to sue? we didn't try to discourage it, angela, but she said to us if you don't let me play, my mother will sue you. [laughter] [applause] bold and out there for our rights as women and i thank you for that because hopefully i had a little bit to do with it but
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surely the way that we are pushed give her the boldness and the voice if accurate i'm humbled to be honored among the barbara boxer, mikulski and mahoney. being here senator boxer wasn't able to join us that if she were here i would have said barbara boxer reminds me of only a few regrets i have about coming to washington, d.c. to continue my labor career. one is i'm not able to be in california anymore voting for barbara boxer kasman senator bayh assure you that i keep my boxer so close to me and my other regret is living in washington, d.c. i don't have the right to vote for a true
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representation. [applause] it's also a wonderful to be here with so many of my activist sisters and labor unions esters and others who make a difference in the lives of working families. this is an important time for us to be together because it's the right moment to unite the movement we represent you said that, we have to work if we are going to move an agenda for equal rights for all of us. sisters, i see a few brothers here, too and i'm glad they are here but they cannot -- [applause] we can't be successful in the struggles we face if know if we see ourselves as members of the labor movement, the women's
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movement or only the civil rights movement, the all gdp movement or the immigrant right movement. we are one movement for the 99%, and together we are not only the majority, but quite frankly we are the people. let me tell you what has got this for me. back in 2008 when barack obama was running for president, they had so much hope and excitement the public pulled back the hate and barack obama would expose senator clinton was winning. we saw that he and didn't like. i don't like talking about hate and i don't use the word lightly
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but hate is a divider and i believe in unity for the greater good. the reality today is that the one per cent front of the tea party have intentionally created a hatred for very harsh political purposes. we know what it is, a divide and conquer. obama one, none the less, and two years later tea party republicans stepped into office across the nation. they teamed up with their corporate groups, and the 1% like the american legislative exchange commission and the coke brothers and we soon saw that these folks really hated unions. the state tea party and the american legislative exchange
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council and their friends got out more of their cookie cutter legislation and started anti-immigrant law and other taxes. the rhetoric revealed how much they had for the old ddt community and then they started passing voter suppression law to disenfranchise people of color, the poor, the elderly. in this case if you can't divide them let's make them. there were fighting by the power of the coalition in november, 2008, and now at every level they are exposing exactly how they feel about women, too. but before they convened on capitol hill to talk about our bodies and our health, long before rush limbaugh assassinate
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the character of a college student because she had the audacity to speak out about contra certificate coverage and well before the push to begin the violence hold these disappearing jobs as school teachers, librarians and social workers. one of the most cynical during the recent state battles in wisconsin, governor scott walker tried to shield the labor movement by taking collective rights while public workers by the police.
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guess what, it didn't work. [applause] >> women and people laugh color found our way into government jobs because they were the past many of us had in the middle class. we could get those jobs because unlike the private sector, the government had more perspective for the discrimination and we can maintain them as good middle class jobs because collective bargaining gave us a voice at the workplace. we took those jobs and the people that teach our children care for us when we are sick and take care of our elderly parents became public enemy number one. the fuel that machine, the tea party and 1% to build a could to create resentment, as we all
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heard even people we know say i don't, why should they? dhaka you think the question should be why don't we all have pensions? [applause] if you know, many people solve the earlier years of the expression because mentor at the higher end of the pay. they lost more than 70% of the jobs that were destroyed. millions more women became their families' primary breadwinners but we became the majority support of the families earning less than 78 cents for every dollar a man is paid. during the so-called economic recovery, women have been hit hard on top of that. women have lost almost 400,000 public sector jobs as the rest
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of the economy is struggling coming and we gain of less than 12% of the jobs that have been created since the recovery began well, no one ever told us being a woman would be easy. many of us had enough examples of that in our family come in our workplaces and in our communities. but if we had settled for things being the way they are, we wouldn't be as far as we are now. so i know we are not about to put the brakes on now. we have come too far, and i believe nobody is going to turn this around. [applause] so let us the train as senator
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mikulski said to get ready. we've got our lipstick and marching shoes and all it takes because we will not sit by and tolerate the intolerance that seems to be the currency today. we will not let the hate that has been unleashed weaken us or turn us back. no, we will continue to speak up and continue to form and join in our union and continue to march to testify before congress, to speak truth to power, to vote, to run for office, and to make sure the path forward is paid what true equality and justice for all of us. power to our sisters and to the feminist majority. thank you. [applause]
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>> i want to thank arlene for those fighting words and her graciousness today. and i want to thank all of you for celebrating with us 25 years of progress. we are not finished. we have hardly begun. and as you notice, we are on feminist time. [laughter] so, we will reconvene in this room and a half an hour. thanks to all of you and help as you leave today by filling out the cards that were on the table. thank you. [applause]
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>> you had calls going up and down the mississippi delta saying that blacks were now in result, and the next morning, between 600 to 0,000 white men poured into phillips county to begin shooting on blacks, and on american history to be on c-span3 sunday at 5 p.m., former student bruce lindsey on immigration and north little rock high school. >> we don't realize what's going to have been off, but they seem to because the crowd is with us
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now. the momentum is behind us. these stories and others from the seas and local content vehicle in a little rock this weekend on c-span2 and c-span2. of the national journal hosted a discussion yesterday on the federal budget and deficit reduction including former senate budget committee staff conductor steve bell who endorsed an approach would provide immediate economic stimulus along with future deficit cuts. this is just over 30 minutes.
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>> next we have our discussion with our panel of experts to read joining us this morning, we have steve bell, senior director of economic policy of the bipartisan policy center, laura peterson, senior policy analyst taxpayers for common sense and even pollock of the economic policy institute. our moderator for this morning's panel is jim for the national journal. jim joined us in the tribune washington bureau where he covered energy, the environment and politics for newspapers including the "los angeles times" and "the chicago tribune." he previously worked at the rocky mountain news and the oregonian. she and a colleague at the least one of the 2,007 livingston awards for young journalists for their business as usual series is stories revealing the truth of the high as economic decline. he's also part of the claimant 18 at the toy played a was a
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finalist for the pulitzer prize. jim? >> thank you for sticking around. i've been delighted with the amount of numbers so far this morning, but i want to start this morning without numbers and start with rough politics. we just heard a lot of theoretical discussion back-and-forth about how numbers and we should do this for 5 trillion here, four chilean their. let's talk about what's going to happen. what does this look like a year from now from a lamb dhaka and going forward? how much do you think we will be closer towards actual fiscal health towards balancing our budget and most importantly where will the budget balance measures come from? let's start with you. >> history would tell us if you look at the 1925 years ago was an amendment in order to get it passed to remind you of what
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happened last summer history tells us it will take that kind of leadership to get that done. i asked the bipartisan policy center is that sometime in late december or early january treasury will announce they have to resort to extraordinary measures because otherwise the debt ceiling would be breached. that and the expiration of the bush tax cuts and the implementation of the current wally sequester as mr. van hollen said offers some possibility that after 40 years of doing this and being endorsed i have to say the odds are they will take most of these grenades down until the vigilantes' to decide to exact. >> you agree they are waiting for this election and once that's over they will pounce? >> it's not a secret.
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moody's has already told us that if nothing happens by january they will downgrade sovereign debt. john chambers of standard and poor's makes those decisions said the same things we give the three major tv to major rating agencies in the country saying if you don't act, we are going to downgrade to further, and i believe them. >> of the defense sequester, do we think will happen, will it go through or is it going to be shifted somehow? >> i'm not sure people are do the sequester will go through. i think there is enough constituents in congress that don't want to see that, that there will be some alternative but i do think that money is coming out in that defense department. the 500 billion has to come out one way or another and both sides now think the pentagon, just look at the books. you can keep stuff down the road for a while until you come up
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against all and that's where they are right now, so there is going to be lots of machination to what we saw earlier this year. there would be a lot of choreography to make sure that the pentagon looks like they are in control and they are calling the shots and this is and be encountered and that kind of thing, but i think with irritants through the sequestration or its crew a budget that eventually takes them out here and there it will come out. islamic is the pentagon and control? and would be much harder to cut this if the generals didn't want to do it as the chairman said? >> i wonder if the generals would think about chairman ryan, the commander in chief, but look, i have no doubt that chairman rye and like many before have plenty of
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discussions with the generals who have come in. i think that happens all the time and the generals go and it's part of the process. they go to the hill and they talk to the chairman and they say this is what we would like and particularly for my service they are not really in the business of cutting the year in the business of saying this is what i want to do. so i'm not sure, that to your question, which was i think the pentagon -- a big part of the strategy that we saw earlier this year is can the negotiations had and were basically they said we see this is coming down the pike but we want to make the decision we don't want the congress or someone else handing it a mandate so i think they are going to maintain that argument that the decisions about the
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cuts they want to originate with them so they will push for that and they will probably be under leon panetta and obama they may very well get it but i just think it is unavoidable there's going to be more than 5497 coming out of the defense budget. >> speaking of mandates let's talk about what mandate comes out of this election. do you think in terms of the expiring tax cuts and how they get dealt with how do you foresee that going? if you have huge ramifications on the deficit reduction but also on growth. >> that's true. the irony here is if we go based on the current law and we don't do anything than the path we are headed on is actually for the budget and not necessarily the of one when we get to the fiscal system and the non-not in the way the members of congress or a lot of experts on the stage want to go but at the same time we
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should recognize this is -- these are choices we are making we have a path laid out for us we can choose a different path but at the same time the one that we shouldn't take is basically ignore all of that and continued on the same kind of current policy we are headed. in terms of getting some sort of a mandate i think this depends on who wins. mitt romney right now is running on a plot for the increases the deficit substantially. so if he wins it is going to be difficult for him to implement deficit reduction because that means he is going to have to be breaking a lot of campaign promises. >> you think that his priority would be to the tax cuts that he's calling for which would be deficit inducing instead of doing the deficit reduction that he's calling for in terms of reducing -- >> i don't know what his priorities will be but i know if you look at the overall plan, the spending cuts that are in
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his proposal, not including the 20% cap or the balanced budget amendment which are not actual spending cuts, that's just procedural mechanism but the actual spending cuts that are there in no way at the lost revenue that he has. so if you are just scoring based on what you actually can come of the net results in a net increase in the deficit, so my worry would be then that he will have a difficult time adhering to his campaign promises. now he said for example defense he said defense should be at 4% of gdp for the foreseeable future. if you look at the ryan plan, it brings down if you take social security, health programs, everything else goes down by a 2015 jury think it's about 3.75% of gdp. that includes defense. defense is up 4% that means
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everything else is eliminated and that's like everything else in putting the regulatory structure of public investment, transportation, research and development and education and i ron ackley founding for congress. it's not a very existential debate at that point. >> first, congratulations on a breaking the number for all of us here. let's move to some other types of numbers which is polling numbers. the public has differing ideas. they would like to see lower taxes, higher taxes but we would like to see strong defense and wind down the war and by the way, don't touch my entitlements. so, how do we -- it doesn't suggest a path that absolutely fits for the deficit reduction, or does it? >> it doesn't. the word i would have everyone had in their mind is cognitive
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dissidence. you take a look at the american public, they want what they want and they don't want to pay for it. but they will tell you -- >> kind of like my 5-year-old. estimate it actually sounds like my 65-year-old -- member of the tea party and when i talk about such things as medicare changes and things like that, all of a sudden he's not a tea party member anymore and since i turned that it's perfectly especially in the house of representatives. estimate use of what happened last night got a grand total of 38 votes and 22 democrats it was only a message it reflects the fact that the american people haven't made most of these decisions and there is so much junk information going around, the numbers which of your body
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gets bored by or went around without much regard for their trip actually no one can make this decision until palpable paying hits the average family in the midwest of the country. i think you will see members of the condra accordingly. they are not going to break the mold. >> will we see public pressure on defense one way or the other? or will we continue to see it coming from the pentagon and contractors, where does that pressure had been? >> the public polling on defense spending has shown a sort of gatt to pending habits framed. trimming is everything when it comes to defense. it's an immediate threat, something you think compromises your safety, then it's like money is no object.
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it becomes what's have a negligible versus the new kind of give them the choice so you're not making the decision in a vacuum people actually frequently choose to treat defense spending i think this is why you see both parties engaging in this rhetoric and if you are pushing the panic button rhetoric it's easy for that to get through. there's a lot of waste in the pentagon and other stuff we can be doing with this money. you're average american citizen
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isn't -- the pentagon is an enormous bureaucracy. it's bigger than most governments around the world. wal-mart the largest corporations and people don't get it. it's hard for the average member to wrap their mind about what isn't a threat and what is bureaucracy? >> how does that rot your mind around the change if we are going towards iran? >> that is an immediate headline threat that of course feeds anxiety about the media and the immediate danger at home. so that does change. people's support for higher defense spending depending on what is in the headline definitely. of course now we are facing a big turnout in afghanistan so it
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depends on how long this can go on. i'm not sure we can depend on the public to give clearance about this. it's such a wide spectrum. it's a good question. it's very dependent to the estimate speaking of free fraiman ig everyone leading edge of the questions. probably the only thing i remember vividly from high school economics is guns versus butter. the idea of to least in the limited resources on defense or do we spend them on programs to help people in the country? it seems to me the sort of trees laid out in the budget or the ranking member van hollen's budget or in fact dunce versus traces in some ways. do you think that those are the traces america should be debating right now? verses the bitter social programs? and do you think they will get a
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referendum on that in this presidential candidate? >> i don't want to get too much into the street off. to a large extent that's definitely true and you can see it from the wry and budget as the members of the audience pointed out and the two members of the audience pointed out that there is this trade-off where you're getting your large tax cuts for the disproportionately goes to the higher income americans and you are also been getting huge massive cuts to the social taking that primarily due to the disadvantaged americans, so there has an inherent trade-off, but at the same time i don't think that we should -- there's a certain segment of people in the beltway that feel like something is only good deficit policy as long as someone is being hurt. as long as there are some losers identifiable, that must kind of
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the a setup but it must not be true, huge amounts of skepticism and can benefit everyone but looking at surrealists you're increasing the longer run economic growth because there are aspects of the recession that create long run drags on economic growth. there's a couple ways it does that. one is a decrease is the private investment recisions' decrease private investment and others increase poverty levels and poverty is one of those things notoriously difficult to come out of the poverty cycle. the education for the belt may not go to college because instead they need to work to provide for their parents who
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are now out of work, so we get instead he will go straight from high school street into the job market without investing themselves, so for a variety of reasons we see the recessions have long run scoring effects, and doing something now and for all of those effects. you actually get the benefit now the preshow the jobs, and a lot still agree we need to do in the short run some job creation and investor protection and the long run, the job creation in the short run isn't just a sugar high it's something that benefits as for the near-term and medium-term and long-term infrastructure will be another thing. in 50 years we have a huge backlog of projects if we wait they get much more expensive. much cheaper to repair a bridge
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than to rebuild a bridge. we can create jobs and boost or long run capacities and the same time get us back on the fiscal sustainable path. that don't require, and i don't want to say that there's everything. you are making the sound like tax cuts can pay for themselves, too. but generally speaking there's a lot of really good policies there that don't have a lot of pain that we could be doing now what we really aren't. >> one quick point on the paper that the mass only works if the interest rates that we pay for public debt are very low. the bond vigilantes come and we see the skyrocketing interest rates next year but immediately white south what they are proposing. >> i just want to make a clarification i guess we are totally -- >> i just wanted to conserve on the jobs point because actually this is -- when you talk about
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the public perception of the defense spending and you talk about how important the defense spending is to converse is all about jobs. the of guys coming to their office every day and literally the tossup who say i had a guy come in to inform me today that there's 3.5 jobs related to this weapons system in my district. it's like 3.5, well, they've got it down to the part time window washer or something. but it's at that level. >> one district and another to the estimate this is one of the reasons i think there's just a lot of anxiety, and at a time like this year in an economic crunch it becomes maybe even the main reason there's so much anxiety taking on defense spending in congress because the democrats could don't want to go there and for roadsides, for both parties it is the jobs concern. >> very tangible jobs that you can literally save these are the
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3.5 -- >> it's very difficult. although i do want to point out that not all of those jobs are sustainable in the same way that other sectors might be. the defense spending is not as sustainable and investment in terms of employment as other sectors are. i'm not choosing winners and losers but i think an argument that the industry will often make is the longstanding jobs and then decides over keeping the plants open and the base is open and that kind of thing, and i think that is where we are going to feel a lot of difficulty in the upcoming couple of years. >> can we do these two things, the recovery is still fragile and in my opinion is more fragile than most people think it is, but it's healing. can we continue the recovery and boost growth and find a way to assuage the fears of the deficit and the pending debt crisis moving forward?
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>> yes, we can. as was said a couple of days ago at the conference they are still dangerous. you don't have to be a genius to figure out that the decrease has been bailed felt but it still poses challenges. so you have some economic sluggishness for sure. brazil has had to cut interest rates and is more competitive. the question of a soft or hard landing however you want to define that in china is very relevant so we are not out of the woods. indeed if you take a look at the underlining unemployment, you find the length of unemployment, the average person now on unemployment insurance is larger than it's ever been. more than 40 weeks, and that tells you something. this is still a lingering sore. how do you do it?
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what we say, the domenici rivlin force was we have to have a full tax holiday, impleader and employee and try to get this economy moving beyond sluggishness. we still hold to that. then he began to phase in the deficit reduction at the end of the plan about 62 to 65% of gdp and the imf and world bank want you to be 60 but this is ten years from now, 15 years from now so all the numbers are wrong. but if you try to make policy changes i can leave you with three thoughts that are important. one, don't make promises you can't keep coming in the discussion we can't do it under the present circumstances, and we need to think about what breaking those promises mean for the future and to invest in the future. the second thing is don't listen to people who tell you what percentage of gdp it used to be because they talk about the last 40 years we have got three major
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conflicts so i would say let's go back to 1900 and if there's any gdp ids at zero and social security was at zero and 85% of the people in the country lived on farms and made their money from the agriculture. >> i think it's fair to say we've changed a little bit. and the last thing i think is demographics. today 11,000 people are going to join medicare. that is a fact. and we are going to put another 40 million of these people in medicare. is it relevant what percentage of gdp we stand or raise any world that is profoundly different than just 1964, 45 or 50 years ago? the answer is maybe but i think there's a certain nostalgia to that is not useful.
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so i think we are going to see these guys kick the can down the road and highway bill which is fighting about two or three months' extension. we start paying the real interest rate on the tenure. one last thing, earlier this year it was 1.71%. that is the lowest since eisenhower. so you can borrow money at that rate why not build things. you are borrowing money at the inflation. >> let's go to the audience. any questions out there for the panel? >> reza your hand. yes, back there. >> good morning. i am with the foundation and my
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question is to the whole panel. why in this whole context of jobs and federal support of jobs are those anecdotally the 3.5 defense jobs in the district somehow more valuable or more more more important than the research of our public health jobs that are also funded by the federal government? >> welcome i think there's a lot of things that are going on in the congressional mind when somebody comes to your office and talks about this before half. frequently there is major industrial base in our district and a major military base that's been there for decades and generations of people work at. this is the irony of again the district government as being a very stable employer. if it is a military job, it's got to be a good job.
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it's got to have all kinds of benefits. it now ironically, we've increased the number of contractors, service contractors exponentially over the last decade so in fact a lot of these great military jobs are not really being performed directly by the military figure being performed, you know, companies that have popped up around what in the last decade has been a boom in defense spending and has proven very lucrative for on to the nurse. i fear that a lot of people see the government specifically the defense department as being a gravy train and that's not a good -- that's not a good reception for the public to half of something like the military. and an institution like the military because the military is not about -- national security isn't a jobs program, something
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we keep trying to drill into people's minds. its function is not to create. it's to protect the country, and that is supposed to be, that is in the same way that, ryan was saying to drive our spending, not budget. all right then. so you hear this a lot from defending defense ministers but at the same time the industry is receiving going up to the hill. and the offer like tax and spend. as long as its defense we need to put more money into the sector in order to create x number of jobs with no strategic framework for that argument. so that is something that awfully worry is always present in our military spending because the size of the defense department, and i think over the last decade or the a explosion
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or the sense that we've seen has gotten even worse and i think that we really need to wean america off of that idea of the defense department being a big job creator. >> we all need to go in to withdraw and gravy is what you're saying? [laughter] >> we have time for two more. >> matt benjamin. so, steve was pointing out the scenario about how the legislators made them to show up and interest rates to spike but i've got an uglier summary of. because to retain strengthens itself in the current status, about the euro etc, and instead what we see is the national savings just gradually, gradually higher interest rates,
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a bigger portion of the budget going towards the debt service, and in the long run the standard of living. is that a scenario that concerns you? >> 20 years ago, it seems like yesterday but probably most of the people remember 20 years ago to say 1992. we had a hegemony in the united states we were without equal at that time economically and militarily. we were able to support ourselves and most of the debt was held by american citizens and therefore it involved within the indigenous economy. now 50% of our debt is held by people that have a different view of the world than we do. petroleum in china and 900 billion in japan and a bunch of


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